provoking what happens in IT

the unwanted gift of presence

recently I was lucky enough to attend a conference where a number of vendors spent copious amounts of time pitching their product instead of talking about the relevant topic in the alloted 5 minute space.

one of those talks was on voip which has been a hot topic of mine for some time now…I’ve been asked by my executive when we are going to get voip as apparently it has all of these ‘to die for’ features like make a phone call and see how ugly the person on the other side is.

one of the the side discussions was on the topic of ‘presence’ and the ability to see where someone is and what they are doing. the same principle applies with instant messenger – I’m online, busy, away from my desk etc. cool technology when used properly in the work environment or when you choose to engage it.

however, I often wonder as technologists are we setting the world up for a reign of pain and failure. presence is one of these things that works in the business environment because there is an expectation that people are performing. however, outside of work we should have the capability to just ‘be’ without the interference of technology.

while presence and voip are not the norm today, in 5 years time they will be for most people. in 10 years I suspect it will be commonplace and analog phone users will be the social technology outcasts.

but what happens when this sort of technology is standard and can’t be removed? who cares you say? well what about the woman living in fear of her jealous ex-husband who is sitting 150 metres down the street sitting on the boundary of his apprehended violence order polling the phone to see if she is ‘away, busy or offline’.

if you think that I am going a bit overboard here then think about this. as I am writing this blog, I am using one of my neighbors wireless links that he/she trustingly bought from the same vendors that supply voip – he/she has no idea that I am sucking up their bandwidth without even having to wardrive their router. even after 5 years in the marketplace, why can’t wireless routers be made secure for the average punter.

if this is the case with routers, what are all of the issues that face us with voip?

from a business perspective for me it’s the new wave of ransomware – ‘hi this is joe blogg and if I don’t get $100k in my account tomorrow I am going to hack in and shut down your voip based call center on thursday.’

in the good old days you had to drive a backhoe through a copper line to have the same effect.

sometimes I wonder if some technologies that are released are here to help us or assist in failure…what do you think?


September 19, 2006 - Posted by | Blogroll, technology


  1. G’day Jason, I got refered here from Rich’s Blog. I am part of the TPN and I have a blog here on WordPress. I thought it was cool that you choose WordPress!

    Anyways, just wanted to say hello and welcome. Couple of cool posts already… now we just have to stop Scoble from being at the top all the time! Cheers and why not swing round The Rail sometime.

    Comment by The Rooster | September 20, 2006

  2. thanks rooster, will do. hope you enjoy my sarcasm feed on a daily basis 🙂

    Comment by provokeit | September 20, 2006

  3. I just wanted to say that I really like your style of writing and really enjoyed this post. Do you have any other blogs are articles that I can check out? Even better do you do any ghostwriting or something of that sort. I have a site that you can probably relate to covering unique holiday gift ideas.
    Thanks and keep em coming,
    Nicole Martin

    Comment by Gift Idea | October 26, 2006

  4. Wow.. Its becoming rare to find an actual high quality and well thought out post these days with many bloggers automating using rss feeds. I want to compliement you on a well writted article and assure you that the extra effort is going to reap great rewards when it comes to search engine rankings . I am compiling a list of related blogs featuring only hand writted content that is of the uptmost quality to feature on one of my web marketing training sites and would like to feature some of you sites. Is that Ok with you?
    Nikki Martin
    Marketing Consultant

    Comment by Gift Idea | October 28, 2006

  5. I got this zune download that is a blast. i am glad microsoft is catching up. I know they get a lot of flack but i like them

    Comment by Zune | January 1, 2007

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